I am thrilled to have Kelsi here today to share her family’s favourite Christmas books. I LOVE reading to my kids, but am a little picky about…Read More
Ah, back to school season! It's like a mini new year when I can hit a reset button after a summer of relaxed routines and schedules. I also find it's…Read More
We’ll all admit it, no matter how much we enjoy the relaxed and unstructured days of summer as moms we are all just a little bit glad to send the kiddos back to school. For me it is like a mini new year, a time for some resolutions to make my family's life a little better. Healthy packed lunches, a calm afternoon routine, no frantic last minutes searches for missing basketball shoes... we’ve all been there! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite products from independent makers like me to get your school year off to a smooth start!
1. Alphabet & Vegetables Card Set by LittleUniverseShop
2. Bunny backpack by MUNIshop
3. Editable Meal Planner by Pedaller Designs
4. Personalized name labels by GiggleLabels
5. Personalized Wall Hooks by SignsofDevotion
6. Reusable waxed cotton canvas lunch bag by WatershedWaxCo
7. Desert Pocket Notebook Set by HeartSwellCo
8. Kids Chore Chart Printable by AlexaZDesign
I hope whatever your back to school brings that these can help your get more smooth sailing days this time round! Here's to a great new school year!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your business.
My name is Jenn Davis and I own Maggie Claire Designs, where I make hand-stamped jewelry and leather bracelets. I’ve been married for 11 years and I have a nine-year-old boy and a 70 lb. puppy. In my spare time (ha!), I work full-time in Commercial Insurance where I get to embrace my inner nerd and work with spreadsheets all day. I love to read and watch TV (Game of Thrones is my favorite) when I’m not stamping.
Tell us all the meaning behind your business name.
My business is named for two of my grandmothers. My grandma Maggie passed away in early 2015 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. I was going through a big transition that year with my corporate job and I ended up leaving it to start a different business (that never got off the ground). Around December of that year I came across some hand-stamped pieces in a boutique and I decided to give stamping a try. I completely fell in love with stamping metal and decided to sell pieces to bring in extra money while I started another job. I decided to name the business after my Grandma Maggie and my Great-Grandma Claire, who was a Native Canadian. Grandma Claire was always my Dad’s favorite grandparent, and I figured it was fitting to name my business after two women who were so loved.
You create jewelry not just to look pretty but to also help people be more intentional in the way they live. Do you choose a word of the year? How to your choose it and how to do implement it in your life throughout the year?
My business actually started with “word of the year” bracelets at the beginning of 2016. One of my best friends (who encouraged me to start the business and helped me to promote it) picked “choose joy” to be her phrase for 2016. That really stuck with me because joy really is a choice. I stole her phrase (she didn’t mind – promise!) and adopted it as my own for the year because it fit my circumstances at the time so perfectly. As I mentioned, I was coming out of a rough year after losing my grandmother and leaving my job and I needed a reminder that how I respond to circumstances is always my choice. I stamped a bracelet with this phrase and I wore it to have that constant reminder throughout the year.
In 2017, I chose “shine” which was a reminder to put myself out there and say yes to new opportunities. I fully embraced it and 2017 was the year when my business really took off. I made lots of connections in the handmade community and I started selling my items in a few boutiques. This year my word is “well” because I want to focus on my health. I’m doing ok with it, but it’s definitely a work in progress.
What does your typical day look like?
I usually wake up about 5:45am and after getting ready I’m off to my corporate job by 7. I drink coffee and eat a quick breakfast at my desk while I get started with work. I answer Maggie Claire Designs emails or listen to podcasts during my lunch break. Three days during the week I work out at the gym after work and then come home for dinner. Two nights during the week (in addition to time on the weekends) I work on jewelry production and preparing packages for shipping. I typically watch TV with my family and then read for a bit before bed. I’m usually asleep by 10:30 or so.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids or as a family?
We love movie nights at home complete with popcorn and movie snacks. My son plays soccer, so we spend a lot of weekends cheering him on at games. We also love going to the pool during the summer. I love to cook and my husband and I will often cook together.
How to you make them happen?
Because I work full-time and have a business I spend time planning things out to make what matters happen. I use a paper planner because I love the feeling of crossing items off the list and it makes it really easy to flip forward to see what I have going on in the next few weeks. I make tons of lists and I definitely carry things over from day to day. I rarely have days where I finish everything on THE LIST, but I try not to let that bother me.
I’m a recovering perfectionist and I’ve realized that I accomplish so much more since adopting a “progress over perfection” mindset than I did in the days when I believed that everything had to be done a certain way. Done is better than perfect in our house, and though it may make me cringe from time to time, I try to let go of my tendency to try to redo things when my son folds the towels the “wrong” way or criticize my husband when he doesn’t prepare dinner the way I would do it. Life is too short to spend time worrying about things that don’t matter. In our house everyone pitches in and I try not to take on more than I can handle when it comes to making outside commitments.
Do you have a favorite mom/parenting quote?
My favorite quote is more of a sentiment and it’s nothing fancy: “Everybody has stuff.” By this I mean that there are things going on in other people’s lives that you know nothing about. You never know what other people are going through and what their motivations are for the things they do or what they may have had to overcome to get where they are, so treat people with kindness and stop comparing yourself to them.
Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing so much! I am late to the game of having a word of the year, this is the first year I'm trying it out; "Contentment" and "Balance" are what I'm aiming for! Do you set a word of the year for yourself to keep you on track? Share yours below and how it's going for you so far. Or if you've fallen off the wagon with your best new years intentions, check out Maggie Claire Designs and get yourself one of her beautiful bracelets to remind yourself of your big goals!
Today I'm chatting with another super busy mama of three, Kara Hohn. She shares how she juggles a busy family life while running a business and making time for creating moments that matter with her kids. I always love getting a sneak peek into another mom's life! I learn so much and get great ideas of what I could do better with my own family. I hope you are able to gather some useful tidbits too to help you balance the many things you've got on your plate too! Here's Kara!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your business.
My name is Kara, my business is called Sew Appealing, I sell handmade baby bibs, burp cloths, toddler pocket bibs, aprons and other fabric creations. I started the business nearly 10 years ago, as a way tomake baby care items that were more functional and more attractive than those found at traditional retailers. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 15 years and I am a stay-at-home mom to three grade school aged children, two sons and a daughter.
What does your typical day look like?
Honestly, each day is so different since it revolves around my kids’ schedules. I am the designated taxi to band or chorus rehearsal, baseball, basketball, the “chef” for at least breakfast and dinner, and the constant reminder about “getting on the bus” or “doing your homework”. My youngest is just in half day Kindergarten, so my business gets about 2 hours of devoted time each afternoon, and then the real work happens after the kids go to bed. My nights are regularly late, since the house is quiet and I can focus. My business is anxious for this fall, when all three kids are in school… all day! (Personally, I am conflicted about it though, because my baby is going to be in 1stgrade!)
What are your favorite things to do with your kids or as a family? How to you make them happen?
We sit down and eat dinner together, every night. It may not be fancy, but it is quality time together (with no cell phones), when we all catch up on the day and prepare for evening sports practices and games. We also love to bike ride together at local parks and walk the neighborhood in the evening. These years with young children are short, my husband and I really make it a priority to be home, together, and active as a family.
What fun/weird/silly family traditions do you have?
One silly tradition is Cinnamon Roll Sunday. As simple as it is, we bake and eat cinnamon rolls together every Sunday morning. Typically it is before going to church, and they are most often the tube of pre-made rolls that need baked for a short time, but the kids have grown to expect it, we all know and enjoy what is for breakfast and we have kept it going now for years!
What is your favorite Mom/parenting quote?
I really had to search for a quote on this, because it is broad, and so many quotes apply, but weren’t quite right:
“To raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you’ve done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.”
I just love Kara's family tradition of cinnamon roll Sunday! Not a ton of extra work for for her, but something the family enjoys together. So often, I make extra work for myself when I try to form a family tradition and then fizzle out after a while. A good reminder that some of the best family time doesn't mean lots of prep for you! What family traditions do you have? I'd love to hear how you create moments that matter in your home, just drop a comment below with your favourite family tradition!
Don't forget to check out Kara's shop HERE, especially if your family tradition involves little one's making a mess or eating some tasty cinnamon buns! She has you covered (pun intended!)
As always I hope as you are enjoying sweet moments and traditions with you family you record and share them with my library of photo overlays. Capturing those moments couldn't be easier! Sign up HERE to get instant access and a step by step tutorial.
'm so pleased to introduce you all to Olga of Sofi Baby Shop! She is a fellow (super talented!) maker and creates the most beautiful baby knits. You are going to love a peek into how she manages her busy family, professional life and running …Read More
Why get all sentimental when you can give your husband a little lovable sarcasm instead? I’ve scoured all my favorite handmade shops and found the best funny anniversary cards that will deliver just the right amount of snarky affection to make your better half laugh and feel appreciated. How’s that for a win-win?!
I've got even more fun and unique cards for anniversaries, birthdays and all the other occasions in between. Visit my shop HERE and don't forget to sign up HERE to get 15% off your next purchase in my shop!